Last Day of My Insomnia Program

Finished my fourth (and final) week of insomnia treatment (CBT-I). A whole month of 5 hours of sleep a night. I’m exhausted 😴

I’m waking up less during the night though haven’t completely stopped, and am falling asleep faster, though I suspect I should have seen greater results. Did my best but never quite followed the rules exactly. It’s one thing to be told, you need to get out of bed at the same time every day, it’s another to actually do it. Seemed like every day I’d get up and say to myself, eighteen hours till I’m allowed to sleep again 😭 (though I was allowed a nap of up to 45 minutes before 3pm.)

The program is so successful for so many (three quarters of people), it’s hard not to blame myself for not doing better at following the rules - although I honestly misinterpreted them for like 3 weeks. I thought I was allowed to vary my wake-up time by half an hour, not that I was allowed to wake up half an hour early and lay in bed if desired. Hahahahahaha as if I would ever choose to get up early - though I did set my alarm 15 minutes early this week so I could have 15 minutes to summon the willpower to get up.

I am suspicious that this program was trying to turn me into a morning person (it did not succeed). If I need to get up half an hour earlier a couple days a month I’m not going to build my entire schedule around it and deprive myself of sleep all those other days. Apparently I will just have to suffer being a morning person for as long as I have a day job 🙃 (Have I mentioned that I hate capitalism 😂) Being up at 7:30 on the weekends sucks 😂

It’s been an agonizing month of forcing myself to stay up till my “earliest bedtime” but I think I should have been falling asleep faster? I think this program underestimated my ability to adapt to less sleep, and honestly am scared it has trained my brain to sleep even less, which is the opposite of what I wanted. The coming days will tell whether it’s been a success or a hindrance. I’m hoping it wasn’t harmful since CBT-I is the first line recommendation for insomnia, but mine wasn’t that terrible to start with. Felt weird to be getting less sleep on a program meant to improve my sleep 🥱

Thoughts I’ll take away from the program: 1) This would have been impossible for me to do if I wasn’t working from home 2) I like having a few minutes to cuddle with my husband at bedtime (instead of slinking in an hour after he’s gone to bed and not touching him as I try not to wake him) 3) Waking up at the same time every day seems to be the most important aspect (also the hardest for me) 4) For me I think the long term solution will be to pay less attention to the clock and try to go to sleep when I’m tired - forcing myself past fatigue and into a second or third wind where I feel less tired has seemed to be a counterproductive element of the program for me 5) Mid-day 20 min relaxation session really does help - though I can’t see a way to do that when I return to the office since there are no private spaces where I would feel comfortable 6) Building structure into the evening is needed for me if I’m going to be awake for another 8 hours after work 7) Some things I was doing before to try to help were actually hurting - namely laying in bed reading for a couple hours before sleep 8) Having one bad night of sleep is no big deal

This has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I have been miserable a lot of the time these past weeks. It made me question whether my insomnia was bad enough to warrant doing the program - but it was so hellacious I decided to see it through because I never wanted to have to do it again if it did work.

I am so looking forward to going to bed at like 12:30 tonight.

Tracy Durnell @tracydurnell